What can siblings and cousins tell us about the role of early life family income in the aetiologies of violent crime, substance misuse and psychiatric morbidity?
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Amir Sariaslan, Janne Mikkonen, Mikko Aaltonen, Heikki Hiilamo, Pekka Martikainen, Seena Fazel. What can siblings and cousins tell us about the role of early life family income in the aetiologies of violent crime, substance misuse and psychiatric morbidity? International Journal of Epidemiology, dyac035
In our recent paper,1 we examined associations between family income during childhood and adolescence on subsequent risks of developing psychiatric disorders, having substance misuse problems and being arrested for a violent crime. We used nationwide population data on 650 680 individuals born in Finland between 1986 and 1996 and their siblings. Our initial analyses indicated, as expected on a population level, that higher family income was associated with lower risks of all examined outcomes. We then used a sibling-comparison design, where we compared risks of the outcomes between biological full-siblings who, owing to the fact that they were born during different years, grew up in the same households during periods when the parents had varying levels of income. If the reported associations were consistent with a causal inference, we would have expected the siblings who were exposed to lower family income relative to their co-siblings to have higher risks...